HTC-Columbia rider Matthew Goss powered to victory in the ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia in Cava de’ Tirreni, as a disorganised sprint capped off an unruly day’s racing.
“I am certainly really happy, it is my biggest win of my career so far. It is great to have a Grand Tour win,” said Goss.
The day’s significant breakaway formed just kilometres out of Frosinone, consisting of Michael Barry (Team Sky), Tom Stamsnijder (Rabobank), Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) and Giampaolo Cheula (Footon-Servetto-Fuji).
However, weather conditions quickly soured, as torrential rain turned the roads of the Campania into little better than streams in some places.
On what appeared to be an innocuous day’s racing, the rain later abated, to be replaced by crosswinds. With seventeen kilometres to go, Astana and HTC-Columbia split the bunch on the narrow, twisting roads, with maglia rosa Alexandre Vinokourov on the right end of the dozen-strong fracture.
It took a frenetic chasing effort from the bunch, led by Cadel Evans and Ivan Basso at times, to gradually close the gap and ensure that the Kazakh didn’t gain any time.
In front, Barry and Ignatiev separated themselves from their companions in a late bid to stave off the bunch. However, the pair were reeled in with five kilometres to go. After the near misses of the past week, neither inclement weather nor a breakaway was going to rain on the sprinters’ parade today.
A chaotic uphill sprint in Cava de’ Tirreni was led out by, of all people, Giro overall favourites Cadel Evans and Alexandre Vinokourov, as the sprinters’ teams ran out of juice in the closing kilometres.
It was left to 23-year-old Australian Matt Goss to claim his first Grand Tour stage victory, bursting down the left side of the road with a powerful and peerless late acceleration that left closest challengers Pozzato and Farrar a couple of bike lengths in arrears at the finish.
Meanwhile, there was further misfortune for Cervelo Test Team leader Carlos Sastre. The Spaniard was unable to get back on after puncturing with twenty-five kilometres to go, losing 1-49 by the end of the day, in a group that also included Bradley Wiggins.
Giro d’Italia 2010, stage nine: Frosinone-Cava De’ Tirreni
1. Matt Goss (Aus) HTC-Columbia 188 kilometres in 4-08-17
2. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions
4. Robert Forster (Ger) Milram
5. Federico Canuti (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
6. Sebastien Hinault (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step
8. Greg Henderson (NZl) Team Sky
9. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank
10. Markus Eibegger (Aut) Footon-Servetto at same time
12. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing
14. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas
25. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana
61. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Transitions at 10secs
84. Steve Cummings (GB) Team Sky at 36secs
95. Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo Test Team at 1-49
106. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky
108. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky
123. Adam Blythe (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 2-51
133. Dan Lloyd (GB) Cervelo Test Team at 5-38
163. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Transitions at 7-36
166. Charly Wegelius (GB) Omega-Pharma Lotto
Overall classification after stage nine
1. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana in 33-09-43
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 1-12
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas at 1-33
4. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas at 1-51
5. Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Columbia at 2-17
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank at 2-26
7. Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Katusha at 2-34
8. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 2-47
9. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini at 3-08
10. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli at 3-09
22. Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo Test Team at 9-59
24. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky at 10-54
35. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Transitions at 18-38
59. Steve Cummings (GB) Team Sky at 38-23
66. Charly Wegelius (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 42-42
110. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky at 55-35
111. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Transitions at 55-54
120. Dan Lloyd (GB) Cervelo Test Team at 58-26
159. Adam Blythe (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 1-11-14
Rain and flooding played a big part in today’s stage
Cameron Meyer hits the deck
Alexandre Vinokourov played an aggressive role in the race
Matt Goss takes the uphill finish
Giro d’Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
2010 Giro d’Italia coverage in association with Zipvit